The Almost Night Ambush

Posted on May 21, 2010

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We had been sent on many ambushes before. We also went on some after this one. But this one was special.

I can’t remember dates but we were given the mission of setting up a night ambush along a well used Viet Cong trail. The Lift Pilots did their job well. As we flew in, the first chopper dropped down to a couple of feet off the ground and we jumped. The second chopper flew over the top. The third chopper dropped down as the first chopper went back up and after the fourth chopper flew over the third chopper popped back up. Because this was done in a slight depression it looked as though the choppers just dropped down for a second and then continued on their way. We only inserted two squads that night. Being the clutz I was, I sprained my ankle when I landed on a small clod of grass and sand. Once inserted we move to the location of the ambush and set up. We were positioned on a piece of ground that gave us a slightly elevated fighting position.

Everything went well at first. We all prepared our positions. Maybe we prepared them to well. Then we all settled in for the night.

To say settled in is a clue. Around 0300 (3am) we were awakened by the platoon sergeant. It seems every one of us had fallen a sleep except for the first man and the last man. The platoon sergeant woke up and panicked. He asked the two guys if they had seen anything. The first guy said yes. He saw a squad of VC pass his position. The platoon sergeant asked why didn’t you shoot at them. He said. Well, they saw me, I saw them, they didn’t shoot so neither did I. The platoon sergeant then asked the last man if he had seen them. He said yes. So the platoon sergeant asked him why didn’t he shoot. He said, well no one else shot so I thought why should I?

We were made to stay awake the rest of the night but nothing ever happened. It took almost a week to fully recover from the ankle sprain. We all thought that if a sprained ankle was the only bad thing that happened we got by easy.

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Posted in: Missions